Perspective Article on Single-Cell Analysis with ICP-TOFMS in Spectroscopy, October 2020

Single Cell Analysis with ICP-TOFMS Spectroscopy oct 2020

Single-Cell Analysis by Inductively Coupled Plasma Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometry –Quantifying Algal Cell Interaction with Nanoparticles by Their Elemental Fingerprint 

Lyndsey Hendriks1 & Lars Michael Skjolding2 

1 TOFWERK AG, Thun, Switzerland 
2 Department of Environmental Engineering, Technical University of Denmark
Volume 35, Issue 10


The analysis of single cells in life sciences and environmental applications has recently triggered a renewed interest in the unique performance of ICP-TOFMS – more specifically its capability to measure complete mass spectra of short transient events, such as the detection of single cells. Indeed, single-cell analysis is a growing research field and holds great potential to unlock new discoveries related to cellular heterogeneity.

This October 2020 Spectroscopy article focuses on the potential of ICP-TOFMS for single-cell analysis. A nanoparticle exposure study is presented, where both the elemental fingerprint of individual algae cells and their possible association with nanoparticles can be measured in a single analysis using ICP-TOFMS. In nanotoxicology studies, sensitivity is an additional limiting factor as mass-limited signals produced by cells and nanoparticles need to be measured, making the TOFWERK icpTOF S2 with its increased sensitivity a perfect candidate to tackle the challenge.

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